Can't shared libraries be versioned and applications semi-firmly tied to a version, for as long as that version is the recommended version?I remember the Amiga library system was like that, you opened a library with a version number as the minimum version you required and the copyversion command would not replace a library if the new one was a lower version.
This doesn't help when the library writers break binary compatibility across minor versions, which seems to be a rather common case in GNU world. All versioning in the world won't help with that.
Microsoft with .NET has moved to this standard as well (Sing along, everything old is new again). Anyway, all versions of .NET libraries are available so an application is always tied to a library version. I think they go one step further and sign the libraries with the version as well but they are a paranoid bunch.
I wouldn't call this paranoid, but rather good practice. Do everything to ensure that your program works as intended. They seem to have learned their lessons well. Christian